‘Disposable Heroes’: Veterans Used To Test Suicide-Linked Drugs

\r

An ABC News and Washington Times Investigation Reveals Vets Are Being Recruited for Government Tests on Drugs with Violent Side Effects

\r

By BRIAN ROSS and VIC WALTER
\r
June 17, 2008

\r

Mentally distressed veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are being recruited for government tests on pharmaceutical drugs linked to suicide and other violent side effects, an investigation by ABC News and The Washington Times has found.

\r

Mentally distressed veterans are recruited for questionable drug trial.

\r

The report will air on Good Morning America and will also appear in The Washington Times on Tues on Good Morning America and in the Washington Times.

\r

In one of the human experiments, involving the anti-smoking drug Chantix, Veterans Administration doctors waited more than three months before warning veterans about the possible serious side effects, including suicide and neuropsychiatric behavior.

\r

"Lab rat, guinea pig, disposable hero," said former US Army sniper James Elliott in describing how he felt he was betrayed by the Veterans Administration.

\r

Elliott, 38, of suburban Washington, D.C., was recruited, at $30 a month, for the Chantix anti-smoking study three years after being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He served a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq from 2003-2004.

\r

Months after he began taking the drug, Elliott suffered a mental breakdown, experiencing a relapse of Iraq combat nightmares he blames on Chantix.

\r

"They never told me that I was going to be suicidal, that I would cease sleeping. They never told me anything except this will help me quit smoking," Elliott told ABC News and The Washington Times.

\r

On the night of February 5th, after consuming a few beers, Elliott says he "snapped" and left his home with a loaded gun.

\r

His fiancee, Tammy, called police and warned, "He’s extremely unstable. He has PTSD."

\r

"Do you think that he is going to shoot or attack the police?" the 911 dispatcher asked.

\r

"I can’t be certain. I don’t know," she said.

\r

"He was operating as if he was back in theater, in combat theater," she told ABC News. "And of course, a soldier goes nowhere without a gun."

\r

When police arrived, they found Elliott in the street, with the gun in the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt.

\r

"Are you going to shoot me? Shoot me," Elliott said, according to the police report.

\r

————————————————–

\r

MilitaryConnection.com, a portal of all things military, has become the “go to” site for resources, news and information that is of importance to the military audience. We have thousands of pages and hundreds of databases to keep you current on the information you need to have. With something for everyone, we take pride in providing all of our resources free to users. Additionally, we feature all types of Articles like this one to keep you informed. We will post your press releases, special events, newsletters, professional conferences and seminars, reunions, job fairs, and videos to help organizations get out the word. One of the areas of our focus is connecting candidates from the military community with outstanding government and civilian employers. We are well aware that candidates from the military community across the board have a work ethic second to none. They make highly valued employees. MilitaryConnection.com has a multitude of employment resources including a Directory of over 30,000 employers, Job Tips, Columns, Virtual Job Fair and our new and improved Job Board, featuring our Virtual Marketplace where you can post free ads for items you want to buy, sell or rent , and much more. We understand the importance of education. Please check out our new Scholarship Directory featuring thousands of scholarships. When the next tour is back home, it’s on MilitaryConnection.com.

\r